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Happy Reds birthday, Johnny Cueto!


February 15, 1986

Giants pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on Monday. BASEBALL IS BACK!

Johnny Cueto is one of five Reds pitchers to finish second in Cy Young Award voting. He lost to the legendary Clayton Kershaw in 2014. Three NL pitchers won 20 games that season; Adam Wainwright was the third. Cueto also received Cy Young Award consideration in 2012 (4th place) and 2016 (6th place). Kershaw also finished above him (but didn’t win) those years.


Reds junk from the Barves Junkie


There has not been a new post on the Cardboard Junkie website in four months. But Dave is still quite active on Twitter as @CardJunk, and after telling him that I wanted to send him some Barves cards, he said he had some Reds set aside for me. His package arrived last week. Here’s some of the awesomeness contained inside:



A couple of “1st Home Run” inserts from 2015 Topps featuring Josh Hamilton and Tony Perez. I don’t recall seeing any of these last year, and if I did, I certainly didn’t notice that some were silver and some were gold.





Some parallel goodies. Red-bordered Jonathan Broxton from 2014, and man, Reds players sure look good on red-bordered cards. The emerald green borders look sharp too, but I bet Donald Lutz would look better in an A’s uniform on that card. The Mike Leake is a mini, alternate-colored bordered Gypsy Queen. And a black-bordered Johnny Cueto Heritage. Are there any sets that don’t have some sort of parallel anymore?


Autographed goodness! Luis Pineda only played two seasons in the bigs, and only one for the Reds. But I got his scribbles now!


Future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman never played for the Cincinnati Reds, but he spent some time in the organization before going to Miami Florida in the 1992 expansion draft.


Another fantastic reliever, John Franco, from the 1987 Topps sticker set.


Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, from the 1987 Classic green border set. I already had the yellow border card from the travel edition, but the green border features a different photo and everything.




Now we’re starting to get vintagey with a trio of ’70s cards. Tony Perez, 1976. Gary Nolan, 1972. Ty Cline, 1971.


Even more vintage. Leo Cardenas, 1968. This card is going to look fantastic with Leo’s scribbles on it. The only question is whether I wait until December at Redsfest or try to catch him at the Reds Hall of Fame this summer.

There was a ton of other stuff in the package…


…including a card that I didn’t even discover until I went to scan them last night. In addition to all the Reds goodies, Dave included a special 1/1 sketch card of one of my very favorite vampires…



A pleasant surprise slid in between two other cards in one of the hard cases. I absolutely love this sketch card!

Fun Cards Submission: 2016 Topps Johnny Cueto

Cueto SF

Six years, $130 million. I can’t even comprehend that kind of cash. Where in the world are these teams getting the money? I’m certainly not buying much merchandise, and I rarely go to games, so it’s not from me. It just boggles my mind.

TWJ contributor Patrick did a great job with this Johnny Cueto “fun card” based on the 2016 design. We probably won’t see a real Cueto Giants card until series 2, so this will have to tide us over until then.

I’m not big on the 2016 design, and actually like Zvon’s tweaks better than Topps’ effort. I love my borders.

2015 ex-Reds, 1990 Score style: Johnny Cueto (World Champion Kansas City Royals)


On top of the world, congratulations to Johnny Cueto and the Kansas City Royals, 2015 World Champions.

Finished? Not quite.

Scherzer no-hitter

The 2015 regular season is in the books, but the narrative is far from over. Clayton Kershaw struck out 300 batters, the first time a pitcher has reached that mark since 2002. Another cheater reached the 500-home run mark. And Max Scherzer pitched two no-hitters this year; the last pitcher who did that in the regular season was Nolan Ryan in 1973.

Cueto Royals

The National League Central is sending three teams to the postseason, but the Reds will be watching from home. Johnny Cueto, traded to the Royals in July, will attempt to put Kansas City over the top after the team fell to the Giants last year. The upstart Houston Astros, powered by Dallas Keuchel, will try to derail that plan. There are only two teams in the playoffs that I despise, so I fully expect a Yankees/Cardinals World Series this year.


I will post a few more highlights cards for the World Series winners and award winners as they are announced, but the regular season cards are finished. 125 “revamped” cards, 13 “highlights” so far, and 18 All-Star cards. Prior to the “revamped” design, 65 cards were posted, along with ten Will Ferrell cards plus four tribute cards to legendary players who have passed away. Add to that 200 “preseason” cards, and I would say 2015 was a busy year for TWJ cards.


You can see all the cards at TWJ cards on tumblr. Plans are already underway for an even better set in 2016.

Fun Cards Submission: 1976 Topps Traded Johnny Cueto

cueto trade

TWJ contributor Patrick delivers again with this “fun card” of former Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto. Man, it’s difficult putting “former” before “Reds” in that sentence. We’ll miss Johnny Beisbol in Cincinnati, but I’m happy to see him going to Kansas City, one of the most exciting teams in the majors to watch. I caught a few minutes of last night’s game against Cleveland in between zzz’s, and it was good to see Lorenzo Cain and Edinson Volquez and the rest of that Royals squad on the field. Can’t wait to see them in the Fall Classic again this year.

Fun Cards: 1938 Goudey Johnny Cueto, Kansas City Royals (sketch card) @JohnnyCueto


Johnny Cueto was traded to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. Cueto, the best pitcher the Reds have had since Mario Soto, will rejoin former Reds teammate Edinson Volquez in the Royals’ starting rotation as they attempt to capture a World Series Championship.

Fun Cards: 1938 Goudey “Heads Up” Johnny Cueto sketch

1938 Goudey Johnny Cueto sketch

Stellar pitching performance last night by Reds ace Johnny Cueto. Cueto has struck out 38 batters and walked only five in five starts. His ERA actually went up to 1.95 after allowing two Brewers to cross the plate, but the offense was awake enough to score more and get #47 the victory.

2015 Reds, 1990 Score style: Johnny Cueto (Highlights #2)

hl02 Johnny Cueto 1000 Ks

Last year’s National League strikeout king picked up right where he left off, ringing up ten Pirate batters in six innings of work. In the third inning, Johnny Cueto struck out Gregory Polanco looking for his 1,000th career K.

2015 Reds, 1990 Score style: Johnny Cueto

012 Johnny Cueto

How to you follow up a second-place finish in Cy Young Award voting? Hopefully with a Cy Young Award. The undisputed ace of the Reds’ pitching staff, Johnny Cueto has already had two top-five finishes in Cy Young voting. He is one of five Reds pitchers to finish second (Tom Seaver, Mario Soto, Danny Jackson and Pete Schourek were the others). No Cincinnati pitcher has ever won the award. Will 2015 be Johnny’s year?

I have begun archiving all of my “fun cards” on a new tumblr page: The image hosting site I used to use is very finicky, and several of my older “fun cards” are long gone. But I have gone back through the pages here and re-posted everything that is still alive to the new tumblr, and will continue to do so in the future. Plus, it’s kind of like flipping through a baseball card binder at a card show…no words, just the cards. Check it out when you have some time to kill.

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